Much recent evidence suggests that bone cells sense their mechanical environment via interstitial fluid flow. In this review, we summarize theoretical and experimental approaches to quantify fluid and solute transport in bone, starting with the early investigations of fluid shear stress applied to bone cells. The pathways of bone interstitial fluid and solute movement are highlighted based on recent theoretical models, as well as a new generation of tracer experiments that have clarified and refined the structure and function of the osteocyte pericellular matrix. Then we trace how the fluid-flow models for mechanotransduction have evolved as new ultrastructural features of the osteocyte lacunar-canalicular porosity have been identified and how more recent in vitro fluid-flow and cell-stretch experiments have helped elucidate at the molecular level the possible pathways for cellular excitation in bone.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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